Channel locks are pliers that have an angled head and an adjustable pivot point that allows the mouth of the pliers to be widened or narrowed for different applications.
With a regular pair of pliers, the handles get farther apart the wider the jaws are opened. The adjustable nature of channel locks allows the mouth to open wider without much difference in the span of the handles.
Any pair of pliers that has an adjustable section allowing one handle to move to change the size of the mouth without changing the distance in the handle can be referred to as channel lock pliers.
Channel lock pliers come in a variety of sizes and lengths. The longer the adjustment groove in the pliers, the larger the item the pliers can grip.
A good set of channel lock pliers is an invaluable addition to any toolbox because they can adjust to such a wide range of bolts, and the angle of the head makes grasping a bolt much easier than with a traditional set of pliers.
There is also a company called Channellock Tools that manufactures channel lock pliers -- but it refers to them as "tongue and groove pliers."
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